Mud Pack, Scrub

Something cathartic in stealing a couple of workblocks as a sabbatical dwindles to reface a website, update a blog, wade deep into the head-clearing work of CSS tuning. It’s every bit as much the work-in-progress it ever was, but even if it remains an unfinished mess, it is a more up-to-date unfinished mess, now living at I didn’t have patience for an original rebuild, so I fetched a template from Pixelarity, customized it a bit, touched up the CSS, dropped it into place. Feeling pretty good about having decluttered some what had too long been lingering at the old site.

Web front April 2016
Browser Screenshot, webfront using customized Polaris template from Pixelarity.

New Faculty Orientation

I’ve been pleasantly surprised–impressed, even–by EMU’s new faculty orientation. Monday and Tuesday consisted of optional workshops: one- and two-hour sessions put on by everyone from librarians and IT folks to faculty and human resources staff. The required two-day orientation started today and runs through tomorrow. I would guess much of the program is similar at other universities. We (26 new faculty) met and talked with the president and provost, worked through a stack of HR materials (benefits, direct deposit, flex accounts, and so on), looked at couple of FERPA scenarios with assistant general counsel, mingled with various department chairs, board of regents members, and new colleagues during a mid-day social hour, snaked through the EMU information fair booths, and ended the day with a 40-minute co-created theater production called C2 Close Up Classroom in which faculty and students enacted various teaching scenarios. As I walked over to the auditorium, I have to admit that my expectations were somewhat medium-low, that I was beginning to feel tired (now carrying five+ pounds of paper collected throughout the day), and that it didn’t seem possible to top what for the entire day had been exceptionally well-done orientation programming. The thing is, I might even go so far as to report that I was stunned by the quality of the production. I mean, this thing was really, really smartly done. After the 40-minute performance, we talked about EMU, about its students, and about teaching for another hour. Ended the day unexpectedly energized, just after 4:30 p.m.